‘Disappointed’ Jaggi makes a statement after IPL Auction snub

Undeterred by the IPL Auction snub on Tuesday, Ishank Jaggi on Wednesday scored a match-winning 90 off just 51 balls to help East Zone crush South Zone.

On Tuesday evening, Ishank Jaggi was sitting with his head down in East Zone captain Manoj Tiwary’s room. The Jharkhand middle-order batsman – a consistent performer on the domestic circuit – was disappointed not to have seen his name in the list of 351 cricketers shortlisted for the IPL Player Auction.

Not only had he plundered 890 runs, including four hundreds, during Jharkhand’s Ranji Trophy campaign that was halted in the semis, but Jaggi had also continued in the same vein in the zonal Twenty20 league. He followed it with an unbeaten 37-ball 51 during East Zone’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy opener against Central Zone.

Undeterred by the setback on Tuesday, Jaggi made a strong statement on Wednesday, scoring a match-winning 90 off just 51 balls to help East Zone crush South Zone. That the innings came against two of the best exponents of white-ball pacers in domestic cricket – R. Vinay Kumar and S. Arvind – reiterated Jaggi’s class.

‘I feel I have hit the peak’

“It was an important knock because our team won. Also, it was important on a personal level because I was disappointed last evening,” Jaggi said. “It has been a good season for me as I feel I have hit the peak. I have played so much of domestic cricket that I know all about it and want to graduate to the next level. That is why this knock was so important. It will help me move up to the next level.”

It was creditable of Jaggi to overcome his disappointment and make a statement with his bat. He also enjoyed his share of luck as television replays showed Vijay Shankar had bowled a no-ball off which Jaggi was caught at deep square-leg on 39. The knock could well propel him back into contention for the IPL Player Auction. “I am disappointed, but I have to keep performing. I am a professional cricketer and want to keep growing. These things make me mentally stronger as the challenge is huge. Every player is almost the same level so I need things that will make me move ahead,” he said.

Despite plying his trade for Jharkhand for nine seasons in domestic cricket, Jaggi hasn’t been able to clear the zonal hurdle and get into the contention for international cricket. He featured for India A in the warm-up tie against Bangladesh in Hyderabad earlier this month, but couldn’t convert a start into a big innings.

Naturally, for a player like Jaggi, IPL is the “biggest platform” to get himself noticed. “IPL is the biggest platform. You can perform well in domestic cricket but if you continue that form in IPL it will take you much higher; just performing in the IPL is not the criteria to play for the country and just playing in the IPL is not the only thing,” he said. “You have to do well in the Ranji Trophy because that makes you mentally strong as well and it helps you in the IPL and altogether it pushes you to perform for the country and help the team win.”